Argued that the automatic exclusion from juvenile court of certain youth charged with murder when combined with the imposition of mandatory sentences is unconstitutional, pursuant to recent Supreme Court rulings in Roper, Graham, and Miller.
Filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of two juveniles who were subjected to excessive and intolerable isolation while in the custody of the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC), claiming violations of substantive and procedural due process rights under federal and state law.
Challenged the adequacy of Philadelphia’s program of aftercare probation, which was responsible for a child’s course of treatment in, discharge from, and supervision following detention for juvenile offenses.
Argued that the trial court abused its discretion by failing to give proper weight during transfer or sentencing to the age and related characteristics of a physically and sexually abused 15-year-old who participated in a murder with the adult who was abusing her.
Argued that Ohio’s mandatory transfer law is unconstitutional because it does not allow for individualized determinations on the propriety of prosecuting certain minors in adult criminal court rather than juvenile court.
Juvenile Law Center, with National Juvenile Defender Center, filed an amicus brief in the Ohio Supreme Court on behalf of a 16-year-old child transferred to adult court under Ohio’s mandatory transfer scheme.
Juvenile Law Center was co-counsel in Montgomery v. Louisiana, a case recently decided by the U.S. Supreme Court holding that Miller v. Alabama (2012) applies retroactively to individuals serving mandatory juvenile life without parole sentences.
These briefs involved a thirteen-year-old student who was questioned by four adults, including a uniformed police officer, on school grounds regarding a series of break-ins. Juvenile Law Center argued that the student should have been considered in custody for Miranda purposes.
Supreme Court held the execution of juveniles unconstitutional. Juvenile Law Center’s brief argued the developmental differences between adolescents and adults in critical areas, including impulse control and understanding consequences.
One of the most important lessons from our 40 years of experience is that children involved with the justice and foster care systems need zealous legal advocates. Your support for our work is more important now than ever before.